Every year, there are many people who decide to get the training required to become a pharmacy technician. It’s a big decision, but it’s one that opens up many career paths with those who go through with it. With pharmacy technician training, you can work in hospitals, pharmacies, convenience stores, or other places that have pharmaceutical needs.
One drawback to consider is that there are not as many jobs available as there were a few years ago because baby boomers in the field are not retiring. It’s not impossible, though, and is a good career choice for those wanting a good mix between medical experience and working with patients.
Many magazines and websites make a list every year of the best colleges and universities for various degrees. These may be a starting point in deciding what school to go to. Some common sources of this kind of information are U.S. News & World Report and Education Portal.
There are quite a few options to consider when it comes to where you go for your pharmacy tech study, and while one university might have a better overall program, it might not be the best program for you. They are:
- Close-to-home and in-person. This is a feasible option for people who live close to an accredited university and don’t want to or are unable to travel far from where they currently live. With this option, you won’t have to pay additional fees for being an out-of-state student, which some online schools charge.
- In-person with travel. This is a good option for students who have yet to settle down and can afford to move to a good school. This might be your best option with regards to being able to get the highest quality education available.
- Online. If you can’t move away from home and don’t have a (good) school near you, you could choose to take online classes. This tends to be a bit more difficult than it would if you were able to attend classes in person. This also gives you a wider selection of schools to choose from.
- In-store. Many people don’t think of this option, but if you want a certification without the degree, you may be able to do this by working at stores like CVS or Publix. After working for 6 months, some stores will offer paid training to their employees. This might not give you the same opportunities that a B.S. or PharmD would, but if you are tight on money, it might be something worth considering.
Speaking of degrees, another thing to consider when looking for a good training program is whether or not you plan to go for a Bachelor’s degree or a Doctor of Pharmacy(PharmD). If you are not sure or want both, it might be a good idea to look for schools that offer both. If not, it might still be a good thing to look for, because if a school is able to offer both degrees, it’s likely that their instruction is of high-quality.
If you’re a poor test taker, you might also look into each school’s exam policy. Each school will give you a test which determines whether or not you are ready and qualified to take the certification test. Some schools will let you take the exam more than once (with a waiting period and a fee), but other schools only give you one chance.
One of the best ways to find the right training for pharmacy technicians is to just ask. Be active in your search, and don’t be afraid to ask to speak to other students and admissions advisers. They can help you determine whether or not what the school has to offer is able to meet your educational goals.
And finally, once you’ve been accepted into a program, remember to study! The quality of the education you receive is only as good as you make it.